A trip to Houston, TX provided the opportunity to visit the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. President Bush was a self-made successful businessperson who valued his family. He enjoyed taking risks and pushing himself, which led to his career as a fighter pilot in WWII as well as an oil business entrepreneur. It was these same values and priorities which drove him into public service in politics, providing him the opportunity to serve in several prominent government positions including Congress, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Director of Central Intelligence, U.S. Envoy to China, Vice President, and ultimately as the 41st President of the United States.
This (poorly photographed) placard in this presidential library depicts a statement he made soon after being appointed by President Gerald Ford as Director of Central Intelligence. Several intelligence agencies were under investigation at the time for illegal and unethical activities. As its new director, George Bush was able to restore credibility to these agencies by his commitment (as noted in the placard) to Truth.
This is a value that is certainly worth listening to. In today’s culture of “alternative facts” and the bizarre acceptance of “opinion as fact,” President George H. W. Bush’s fearlessness in honoring Truth (I love his emphasis of truth with a capital “T”) is commendable.
Hearing Truth can be quite difficult. Truth can challenge our assumptions, counter our assertions, and expose our narrowness. Truth exists outside of our beliefs, our pre-conceived notions, and our commited priorities. Truth is Truth.
In a sabbatical time intentionally spent in listening, Truth emerges. My own awareness of what is True has been challenged, and some things I suspected as Truth have been confirmed. It is my intention to live up the this statement by President Bush, “We honor the Truth; we do not fear it.”